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King Charles urged to speed up slavery apology: 'How long is this reign going to last?'

During a discussion about the Royal Family's colonial past on Yahoo's 'Future of the Monarchy' panel, Robert Jobson, the royal editor of The Evening Standard, said the process of an official apology needs to be accelerated by the King - adding there was a danger his reign "is going to be over" before the issue gets properly addressed.

Jobson said: "Things need to be speeded up, because how long is this reign going to last? I mean it might not even be finished before the reign is over at this point.

He added: "This monarchy is in a new time, it's a new reign and things need to be done differently".

Joining Omid and co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party Mayer were King Charles’ biographer and royal editor at The Evening Standard Robert Jobson; and journalist and broadcaster Afua Hagan.

Watch the full clip above.

Video transcript

ROB JOBSON: I was in Barbados when it was handed over. I was in Barbados with William and Kate, so I covered it. It was obviously coming in that direction. And a lot of-- there's been an awful lot of development since the Black Lives Matter movement in the Caribbean in this and a lot of momentum behind it.

I mean, I hear what both you say. But I think that, you know, this has been on the agenda of education for a long time. And I remember when I was a kid studying in a comprehensive in the '70s, I did a whole project of the slave trade. I was very passionate about it. So I think it's always been there. I think it needs-- more needs to be done.

But equally, I think Charles is right to do what he's doing. I think it's the right step to do it. I think he's absolutely right that he puts the academic in the archives and starts the process because that's where you're gonna get more and more information that they can base a proper investigation upon. But equally, things need to be speeded up because, you know, how long is this reign gonna last? I mean-- I mean, you know, it might not even be finished this time before the reigns over at this rate.

So in my opinion, we need to speed things up. We need to be-- this monarchy is now in a new time. It's a new reign. And things need to be done differently. They need to be--

I think that we've just seen on Panorama how the younger generation are not really interested in monarchy and that they really-- they can't rely on the goodwill of what was surrounding Her Majesty the Queen. I mean, Elizabeth, I think if we'd had a Republican vote for president, she'd have won it hands down. That's not necessarily the case with King Charles.

So I think Charles, although I personally think it's a terrific person. I think he's a deeply spiritual man. I think he's a man of great intellect. I think he's also a man that I think has done great things in terms of trying to preserve our planet for all of us.

But in terms of being the king of the United Kingdom and the other realms and head of the Commonwealth, I think things need to be speeded up. I think we need to-- there need to be much more liaison with Prince William, William the Prince of Wales. But more important than that there needs to be, I think, younger people around him in terms of advising him.

Some of these advisors are all interested in getting lords, and ladies, and knights, and whatever, NPOs, PVOs, whatever they are. And frankly, I think they're all a waste of time. What we do need now are younger people with different perspective to advise the king and the royal family going forward because William is over-- he's 40. You know, he's not a young man.

And they need to be young people advising them, not people that have self-interest, whether they get land or whether they get a knighthood, whether they get a cushy number somewhere. It's all well and good banging on about the Prince's Trust.

The Prince's Trust is yesterday now. We're now dealing with a time of a new reign. And I really do believe that we need to start listening to the under 30s and even the under 20s because if the monarchy does have a longevity, it's those people that matter. And in my view, there's a lot of stuffed shirts at the Palace. There's a lot of people that are not necessarily in it for the long term because they're too old. There are a lot of people in terms of-- that I don't think are necessarily doing the King a service.

But one thing I would say about the King-- and Catherine, who wrote a brilliant book on the King, too-- is that he does listen to younger people. He has a real connection with younger people. And if he's allowed to do his job without too much noise, he will cut to the chase. He's somebody who really does care. And I think he's somebody that has made a real difference to the lives of many black, white, Asian, lots of different people that are able to start businesses and become a success.